Chinese port authorities' inspections have become more frequent and more rigid, several industry sources tell ShippingWatch. Numerous carriers report that the number of ships being detained by Chinese inspectors has increased significantly during the fall, which can delay operations and create congestion off the Chinese ports. And carriers which frequently call in the major Chinese ports also add that the continuous control of their vessels can be a great nuisance to the crew.
Carriers are seldom looking to voice their dissatisfaction with authorities in public, but Denmark's new maritime consultant at the country's embassy in Beijing, Bjarke Wiehe Bøtcher, acknowledges this scenario. He explains that where a Danish inspector starts by interviewing the crew about procedures in various situations - to, among other things, discern whether the crew is trained in handling safety equipment - language barriers are often an obstacle for the Chinese inspectors.